this trip we have put the accent on the culture and
history of Transylvania.
day you can make longer or shorter hike in each region, or
just stroll around by foot or car. You travel around by
private car or rental car.
stay overnight in comfortable guestrooms, hotels or pensions, all
the rooms have private bathrooms. If you stay in guestrooms,
you stay full board, you'll enjoy each night a
typical hearty meal, in
the morning is a large continental breakfast and you make
yourself a lunch-packet for noon. The Romanian kitchen is
simple but tasteful, cooked mostly with home grown products or
from the village. In the towns you stay in pensions or
hotel-rooms in bed and breakfast formula, all are small scale
businesses. For this trip you can choose in Sighisoara and
Sibiu if you stay in a room in a hotel or pension in the town,
or if you stay in guestrooms in a surrounding village. (for
Sighisoara that would be guestrooms in Biertan, in Sibiu that
would be guestrooms in Gura Raului.)
All the places can all be
reached with a normal car. You can leave each time
your car there without problems.
The region was colonized in the Middle Ages not only
by the Saxons, but also by Flemish, Dutch, Walloon,
Luxembourger and Rhine and Mosel settlers. Later, the
Hungarians and Habsbourger controlled the
region. You'll find
here the beautiful historical towns Brasov,
Sibiu and Sighisoara.
these towns is a hilly pastoral landscape where almost
each village has a fascinating fortified church. 7 of
these churches are on the Unesco World Heritage list together
with the center of Sighisoara. Unique is that during
the Middle Ages, the inhabitants fortified the
churches, built extra defense galleries on the naves
built fortified walls, towers and bastions to keep the
Turks away. There were more then hundred of
them, most of them still stand, some restored, others
almost in ruins. Besides that you find in the region
larger and smaller museums, castles and
The biodiversity of the different mountains regions
that surround the Saxon home land is
very special. There are dozens of endemic plants and there is
still brown bear, wolf and lynx in the mountains, but there is
little chance that you will meet one.
receive the day of arrival an extensive road-book, addresses
of the accommodations, tourist information, maps and described
hikes or walks.
The car will be brought to the pension in Cluj
Napoca at 9am on day 2. The car will be picked up at 6pm on
day 10, again at the pension in Cluj Napoca. (totals 9 days)
The warranty for the rental car can be paid with credit
drive on the transfer days about 4-5 hours. You drive
only on asphalted roads. We choose for the more quiet
secondary roads and avoided as much as possible the
busy E-roads. You find everywhere gas-stations,
restaurants and shops along the roads so that extra
provisions or restrooms are not a problem.
less bound travelling during the summer months as you
most likely won't be hiking in the high mountains
where you can have snow from November till May. Basically you can have
snow on the roads in Transylvania from December till end March.
Romania has an efficient system to clean snow covered
roads and snow hardly remains for more then a day on
the road except with blizzard conditions. Snow might
occur occasionally in November or April but never last
long. The ideal travel period is 1 May till end
October. The busiest tourist season is between 15 July
and 15 August, but it is never that busy that you will
have traffic jams or problems to visit
description of the trip:
1 Arrival in Cluj Napoca. If you come by train or plane, you will be picked up from the airport or train
station and be brought to a cozy pension downtown Cluj Napoca.
We'll introduce the program.
Day 2 The car will be brought to the pension at 9am. You drive to
Sighisoara. You drive through a pastoral landscape
with small villages. You'll find a few castles; there
is one in Zau de Campie and Iernut. You'll drive
along the little historical town Medias en you can
visit the fortified churches of Mosna, Biertan and
Dumbraveni. There is a renaissance castle in
renovation in Cris and you arrive in the medieval town
Sighisoara. The fortified town center is one of the
most authentic medieval examples in Europe. It is on
the World Heritage List. You stay overnight in the
Day 3 Trip to Bran. You drive along the Saxon villages Saschiz,
Roades, Rupea, Hoghiz, Rotbav, Feldioara, Prejmer to Brasov. Along the road you
can visit fascinating fortified churches and fortresses. The sites of
Saschiz and Prejmer are on the World Heritage List. You drive to Brasov. Brasov is a beautiful
medieval town at the base of the Carpathian Mountains.
The historic town center is largely intact and you can
visit the east and west wall fortifications. There is
the large gothic black church and several museums. You
can take the funicular up the Tampa hill. You continue
to Bran, worldwide known for its castle. You stay overnight in
a fine guesthouse at a few minutes walking from the castle.
You can visit a special page about
4-5 You can drive to the little town Sinaia to visit the world famous Peles
Castle, the former Royal Castle. Its built in Bavarian
style, and loaded with art and antiques. You find works
from El Greco, Zurbaran, Murillo,
Velasquez, Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Dyck, Clouet, Rafael, Brueghel, David, Correggio….There
Meissen and Rosenthal porcelain, There are 17-18c
gobelins and much more.
It is by far the most beautiful castle of the country.
You can take the ski-lift up the Bucegi Mountains for a
stroll on the 2000m high plateau. There is the medieval
fortress of Risnov and there are the Piatra Craiului
Mountains with a bear reserve. More then enough to
fill 2 fantastic days. You stay in the Bran guesthouse.
6-7 Transfer to Sibiu. During the summer months you
can make the transfer by the 2000m high Trans Fagaras
highway. The other months you can mostly access the
ridge by the northern access road. If you travel
south-north you can visit the real Dracula fortress if
you climb 1500 steps. On the ridge you can make a short
hike to an alpine lake. There is the town Fagaras with
it's beautiful castle (now museum). There are the ruins
of a Cistercian monastery in Carta. Sibiu was cultural
capital of Europe in 2007. It is a historical Saxon town
and the medieval center is largely preserved. There are
numerous historical buildings and many museums, the most
important is the Brukenthal museum with important works
from Flemish, Italian and Dutch school. To the south of
the town is the Astra Open Air museum with more then
hundred buildings and structures from all over Romania.
You stay overnight in a stylish pension right outside
info about Sibiu:
8 Transfer to the Bihor Mountains in the West Carpathians.
You drive along the village Calnic with fortified church
(World Heritage Site) and the historical towns Sebes and Alba
Iulia. Alba Iulia has a Vauban style fortress (the
largest in Southeast Europe) with several Baroque
gates. There is within the fortification a 13th c.
cathedral. You continue to the village Girda de Sus, along the
Aries River on the eastern border of the Apuseni Nature Park.
The Western Carpathians offer a very varied landscape. Crystalline
and volcanic mountain ridges interchange with limestone massifs.
region is a large plateau where rivers or tectonic forces cut
deep canyons. The altitude is generally between 600 and 1850m.
can visit the famous ice cave of Scarisoara.
The cave lies at an
altitude of 1100m
and at the bottom of the cave lies and enormous bloc of ice,
75.000 m3 big. It is here since the last Ice Time. This cold
mass of ice cools the air down and seeping water freezes up to
beautiful stalactites and stalagmites. You can also choose to
visit a water mill and woodcarver in the village
Patrahaitesti. The Moti highlanders, the inhabitants
from the region are masters in would carving. They
make all kind of household items and the Tulnic, a
special alphorn from the region. You stay in
comfortable guestrooms in Girda de Sus.
included a special page about the Apuseni Mountains: click
Day 10 Transfer to Cluj Napoca. You travel via the Aries Valley to Turda.
Along the road you come along Lupsa monastery (with oldest church from the
region) and a very interesting ethnographic museum about the gold mining of the
region. You can visit the Roman Galleries in Rosia Montana. You can make a short
detour to the ethnographic village Rimetea at the base of the Piatra Secuiului
Mountains and there is the nature reserve Turda
Canyon. The Turda Canyon offers more then 1.000 types of
plants. The flora is very heterogeneous because of the
geographic location, the limestone underground and the special
micro climate. You stay overnight in the
cozy pension in Cluj Napoca.
11 End of the trip after breakfast.
4 West Carpathians,
Girda de Sus